It is a blessed thing to love on earth as we hope to love in Heaven, and to begin that friendship here which is to endure for ever there. Jesus Christ loved John, Lazarus, Martha, and Magdalene with specially tender friendships, as we are told in Holy Scripture. We know that St Paul dearly loved St Mark, St Petronilla, Bishop Stachys (Romans 16:9), Timothy, Thecla, St Claudia and Pope Linus (2 Tim 4:21). St Ambrose loved St Monica because of her many virtues, and that she in return loved him as an Angel of God.
Sin, including acts of silent omission, damages or destroys fraternal communion (CCC 1469). Of the difference between true and false friendship:
- Worldly friendship ordinarily produces a grand cluster of honeyed words, a cajolery of small passionate endearments from beauty, grace, and sensual qualities.
- Sacred friendship has a simple and frank language, praising the virtue and grace of God, the unique foundation on which it subsists.
- Introduction to the Devout Life by Church Doctor and Gentleman Saint Francis de Sales